third year lessons: part 1

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but the first two years of med school are strictly book learning. Third year, the student becomes part of a team of doctors who actually diagnose and treat patients. The courses are split up into different rotations, such as OB-GYN, surgery, psychiatry, etc.

Y just finished his first rotation, Pediatrics, which he went into with a mixture of fear and hatred towards children. He came out of it with an appreciation for kids and 1 sillyband.

He also started making pancakes. In shapes. You don’t do that sort of thing unless you are under the influence of kids.

I’ve learned a few things so far during third year that I think are imperative for any med school spouse to know:

1. White coats throw up. It looks like this:

2. Med students don’t like it when you call their short white coat (the coat that indicates that they are students) their Doctor Costume.

As in, “Hey Y, you forgot your doctor costume at home”. Or “Hey Y, is the doctor costume fairy going to clean off the shelf?”

3. if your med student spouse is anything like mine, his common sense started slipping away the moment he started studying for his MCAT. I’m here to tell you it will not return. Y can recite the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for appropriate flotation devices backwards and forwards, but that didn’t stop him from sneaking up on my 6 year old nephew, who can’t really swim, and throwing him across the pool.

But if there was ever anything wrong with my nephew’s reflexes, Y would be on it, thank goodness.

4. A positive to nights on call: The less amount of time the alpha male is around, the more likely the dog is to hang out with me.

But when the hard working student doc wants to sleep after he’s been on call, Ike’s loyalty is obvious:

5. At some time during the med school process, you will reach a point when talking about med school becomes a form of torture. Third year was most definitely when I hit that milestone. But more on that later.

Other med school spouses are documenting their experiences here. Theirs are probably much more insightful than mine, but, if you haven’t noticed, I’m better at Ike pictures than I am at insight.

the truth about walking the dog; accidental nerd glasses

When I was in college, newly initiated into the world of Adobe Creative Suite, one of my first assignments was to copy a magazine cover.

I was hooked. My poor friends got fake Cosmo covers for their birthdays for the next few years. In my free time, I made fake US Weekly spreads. I was, to be honest, super cool.

See that barcode? That’s how you know it’s authentic.

When I saw Who What Wear the other day, I knew I had to revisit my old pastime.

My husband doesn’t know this, but when I tell him I took the dog for a walk, I mean that I put on my wedge heels and walked around our backyard.

My favorite part of my dog walking outfit, other than my mime shirt, is my accidental nerd glasses. I buy my glasses online at Zenni Optical because I can’t take care of my things and they cost $15.

The downside is that the frames look a little, um, smaller on the screen than they do in real life.

Since we’re discussing old pastimes, and teenage/college me never had a MySpace, I feel like I should get to do a MySpace -esque picture of my nerd glasses. Because that’s people who wear nerd glasses do.

life moves pretty fast.

Is it just me, or does everyone have that moment where you sit up suddenly — mouth open Macauley Culkin style — and think “Holy crap. That quote, from Ferris Bueller? The one that everyone has listed under ‘favorite quote’ on their Facebook page? IT’S TRUE.”

I have that experience about once a day.

I can’t believe we’ve already lived here over two years and Y is already halfway through with school. It can’t possibly have been that long since he stood on our front porch, Batman lunchbox in hand, ready to take on his first day of class.

I swear there was a Batman lunch box. Smart guy, that Y, not allowing any photographic evidence of it.

I also can’t believe we’re feeding Ike adult food. When I look at him I still see this:

And to top it all off, Bob outgrew his Anthropologie costume.

Does anyone else feel like just yesterday you were a kid playing with American Girl dolls; or maybe a naive college kid shopping at Forever 21 like it was going out of style?

Right. I actually was doing both of those things yesterday. But you know what I mean.

conundrum: not just our favorite wine

The other day, I tried to define “conundrum” to my nephew. He seemed genuinely interested in learning what it meant, and thoughtfully guessed whether it was a negative word or a positive word. I was impressed – he’s six, and for a second the only way I could tell was the bright blue ice cream smeared across his face.

Looking back on the conversation, it was probably a totally normal one to have with a child that age. Still, I was in awe of his thoughtfulness, and I think I know why: my intelligence litmus test is whether or not my usual student can tell the difference between a bone and a bear.

It’s no wonder I’m now convinced my 6 year old nephew is the next Stephen Hawking, considering how smart I think my dog is. I was so excited when I realized that Ike had figured out who Y was. For months while Ike sat staring out the window that faces the street, I would tell him, “Y’s home!” whenever Y’s car came down the street. If Ike wasn’t at the window when Y pulled into the driveway, I would call Y’s name and watch the dog race for the window to watch the car approach, tail wagging. I was so proud – he knew our names.

One day, we decided to test Ike’s knowledge. When we were both at home, we called out Y’s name. Ike’s ears perked up, and he ran for his window. My heart sank – Ike didn’t know his best friend’s name, in fact, he thought “Y” was the name of what he did all day – sitting by himself, gazing through the window, waiting for something to happen.

How will this affect our precious child dog? Will years of having a best friend who he basically defines as an empty void turn him into an angry adolescent dog who gets into trouble? Has he already become our worst fear? Take into account exhibit A:

In case you don’t know, that is a paper cutter. Main use: scrapbooking. Other uses: beheading symbolism.

Are we already missing the signs? What does this mean?

This, dear nephew, is a conundrum.

Why didn’t I think of that?

Y comes home almost every day complaining about how so and so in his class has never heard of [insert historical political figure here]. I usually nod, agree with him, head straight for Wikipedia, and spend the rest of the night feeling stupid at my lack of knowledge, so humor me for a minute while I pretend like I’m smart:

Anyone who knows me can vouch for my tendency to get bossy when it comes to grammar. It’s a random habit — I’m not really a perfectionist in any other aspects, but stick an apostrophe where it doesn’t belong or misuse a homophone and you will most definitely hear about it from me.

And him.

That sounded menacing, right? Right? Well… it’s not exactly true. Unless I’m close to you, I won’t point out your mistake. I’ll probably just post about it on my blog. To be honest, there isn’t enough time in the day to rectify all of the spelling and grammar errors on signs and buildings around here. While in DC, staying on Georgetown’s campus, I climbed onto a campus bus and saw a sign that said something like this:

To ensure your safety, please watch your step as you climb aboard the bus.

My heart almost stopped — not only was the sign written in a complete sentence, the ensure/insure homophone had been used correctly! A sign at home (on our not-quite-as-prestigious-as-Georgetown campus) trying to convey the same message might have looked like this:

watch “STEP” on bus

Don’t even get me started on the random quotation marks. Y snapped this picture the other day, just because he knew it would make me mad. So romantic:

The reason I bring this up: I just found an article about a guy who traveled around the United States correcting errors on signs, (apparently, he didn’t find an excess of mistakes in any one part of the country, which I find hard to believe) and wrote a book about his adventure. I have three thoughts on this:

A) That is awesome.
B) Why didn’t I think of that?
C) They’ll give anyone a book deal these days, won’t they?

Anyone else out there have a pet peeve that they get overly sensitive about? My other pet peeve is the sound of someone eating a banana. GROSS.